Google faces off against Apple's ARKit with ARCore for Android

Google faces off against Apple's ARKit with ARCore for Android

Google is tackling Apple's ARKit head-on with its own augmented reality SDK known as ARCore.

Unlike Google's Tango, which worked with only a small number of devices, ARCore is designed to target as many phones and tablets as possible. It is initially useable with the Google Pixel and Samsung S8, and is aiming to hit over 100 million devices by the end of its preview period.

The technology focuses mainly on motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation to create realistic AR experiences. It observes feature points using the device camera and uses IMU sensor data to determine the position and orientation of the device as it moves.

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ARCore won't just be used for phones, however. Google is also exploring working prototype web browsers that can be enhanced with AR, either using ARCore or Apple's ARKit.

The SDK works out of the box with Unity, Unreal, and Android Studio. Google did not state when it plans to end its preview period. Developers interested in trying it out can find out more on Google's website.

The ARCore reveal comes just two months after Apple announced its own AR SDK, ARKit. It uses "Visual Inertial Odometry" combined with camera sensor data to track where objects should be placed in the real world.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.


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